PULLING off an outstanding performance in elite races is slowly becoming a habit for junior cyclist Rex Luis Krog of Go For Gold Philippines.
The most promising rider in the country recently ruled the punishing Tour of Matabungkay with Go For Gold teammate Ean Cajucom giving Krog a big lift in the four-stage race for a superb finish.
Krog, 18, captured the overall general classification title in seven hours, 11 minutes and 13.45 seconds followed by runner-up Mark Ryan Mendoza (1:37 behind) and third-placer Albert Primero, who was 2:21 back.
The 16-year-old Cajucom, a prized find by Go For Gold project director Ednalyn Calitis Hualda, placed fourth overall, 2:45 slower than the champion but was instrumental in Krog’s victory.
“We are really proud of the development of our young riders. They continue to do well and we hope that it continues with more races in their schedule,”said Go For Gold godfather Jeremy Go.
Up next for Krog, who brought home a silver medal from the UCI Asian championships early this year, is the three-day Tour de Linggarjati in West Java on Oct. 25-27 before taking on another challenging race also in Indonesia.
According to Hualda, Go For Gold is focused on developing young riders like Krog and Cajucom in line with Philippine cycling’s bid to send a rider to the 2020 Tokyo and 2024 Paris Olympics.
“Besides aiming to fulfill our dream to see a Filipino cyclist in the Olympics, our goal is to provide more opportunities for less fortunate young riders to flourish and improve their lives,’’ said Hualda.
Cajucom, brother of veteran rider John Mark Camingao, topped the fourth stage of the out-and-back race in Matabungkay that propelled him to fourth place overall.
“I’m sharing this victory with Ean. With our solid teamwork, we were able to implement our race plan against some of the toughest riders in the sport,’’ said Krog.
Cajucom nosed out Efren Reyes, Myrson Basto and Mendoza in a sprint finish on the final stage of Tour while Krog, with triumph already assured, checked in sixth, almost 13 seconds behind the lap winner.